Trump breaks silence on Charlottesville: ‘No place for this kind of violence in America’
Posted by Amy B Wang on 12th August 2017

This post was originally published on THE WASHINGTON POST POLITICS

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Bands of white nationalists were met by counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. (The Washington Post)

President Trump broke his silence Saturday afternoon amid violent confrontations between white nationalist groups and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, tweeting that there was “no place for this kind of violence in America.”

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” the president stated on Twitter shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday. “Lets come together as one!”

By then, a “Unite the Right” rally planned for noon — originally intended to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park — had been canceled as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency.

The president’s silence had been noticeable Friday night, as a few hundred tiki torch-bearing white supremacists — mostly young men — paraded through the University of Virginia campus while chanting racist taunts and flaunting Nazi paraphernalia, The Washington Post’s Joe Heim reported.

Even as many online called for Trump to respond, his Twitter feed remained quiet into Saturday morning as the Charlottesville clashes escalated into open brawls and weapons being hurled into the air.

Vice President Pence had also remained quiet until Trump tweeted his message Saturday, at which pointed the vice president appended it with a note urging people to “join together & oppose those seeking to divide us.”

Trump has been on a 17-day working vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., a point he reiterated in a follow-up tweet Saturday.

His messages came about an hour after first lady Melania Trump addressed the tense protests taking place in Charlottesville.

By then, other public figures had already spoken out forcefully against the demonstrations in Charlottesville. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) denounced the white supremacist views “fueling the spectacle” as “repugnant.”

In declaring a state of emergency in Virginia, McAuliffe said he was “disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours.”

White nationalist demonstrators walk into Lee park surrounded by counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters. (Steve Helber/AP)